Book Review-The-List

The List

by

Steve Martini

When I began this book I had no idea or preconceptions to what the title was referring.

However, it did not lake long before that became clear and book quickly developed into a quick, fast paced page turner.

It is an entertaining book about the media industry.  The interesting thing about this book is that the plot is happening…..now!

This was my second Steve Martini book.  I have since read a third, The Arraignment in 2017.  To  date, Martini’s books have remained interesting and fresh with a twist on the title.

Yes, I will be seeking more.

I think

The List

 Image result for the list martini

is definitely a

read.

Goodreads readers have rated

The List

 an average of 3.95 stars from 11,919 ratings and 145 reviews

The List

can be purchased on-line at

FishpondBooktopia, and Amazon

 

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Book Review-Jack-of-Diamonds

 

Jack of Diamonds 

by

Bryce Courtenay

Most people start at the very beginning.  Alas, I am not most people and my first Bryce Courtenay novel to be reviewed is also his last.  As far as I know.  I finished listening to the audio version a while ago now; on March, 24, 2014, to be precise.  I completed my review, which follows, the same day.

Read on……

I finished listening to the Jack of Diamonds today and was sad to see that I had reached the end of the story.  It was the best book I have listened to for some time.  I stress ‘listen’ as the narrator’s accents, Canadian, Italian, American, South African, German and Australian were, in my opinion, perfect.

Was the story line plausible?  Possibly.

Was it a good read/listen?  Definitely.

A five star, favourite book does not come along very often.

Does it have a Mature Adult rating?  Definitely.

However, language which befits the setting, plot and characters.

You have been warned.

It may not read as well as it sounded as an audio book.  I loved it.  Just a pity there will not be any more.

Spanning the Great Depression, World War II, follow by ties to the Las Vegas Mafia and a romance in South Africa all are combined as only Bryce Courtenay could, to weave a wonderful story.

If you have not read Jack of Diamonds it must be added to you list.


A definite five star favourite.
read.  

Goodreads readers have rated

Jack of Diamonds

an average of 3.92 stars from 1,515 ratings and 188 reviews

 Image result for jack of diamonds courtenay

Jack of Diamonds

can be purchased on-line at 

Fishpond, Booktopia and Amazon

Read in 2014

Book Review- The-Wrong-Child

The Wrong Child

by

Barry Gornell

 

The Wrong Child would have rate as one of the worst audio books I have listened to.  I specify audiobooks, as some reviewers have rated it quite the opposite.  The only reason, I can think of for a high rating, is that it is a book to ‘read’.

The narrator, while not as good as Sean Mangan, was reasonably good and he did his best to hold his audience’s attention.

The Wrong Child is supposed to be a story about a town where twenty-one of twenty-two children were killed in an accident.  However, the accident was not described, or explained, as far as I can remember until the last few minutes of the forty-second, and last track, or chapter.

And sadly The Wrong Child had nothing to do with a child being kidnapped or some other such event.  Rather The Wrong Child was the one who was not killed and unfortunately, for him, none of the townsfolk, including his parents, liked him.

Aside from all of the above other low-lights, planted in my mind, included, but we’re not limited to:

  • A man walking into a school classroom and frightening the students

  • A man digging a grave, stripping naked, folding his clothes and then?  We don’t know because the story took one of its many leaps which left me wondering had I missed a chapter.

  • The surviving child, known as ‘Dog’ (not Douglas) liked to masturbate which was described in detail on several occasions.

  • The local priest was not as celibate as he was supposed to be.

All in all it was The Wrong Book for me, at least

 

I have rated

The Wrong Child

 The Wrong Child

a lowly

read.

Goodreads readers have rated

The Wrong Child

an average of 3.13 stars from 15 ratings and 8 reviews

The Wrong Child

can be purchased on-line at

FishpondBooktopia and Amazon

 

Book Review-Promise

Promise

by

Sarah Armstrong

 

Picture yourself.  You are a solid upstanding citizen with a good job and in a relationship with a like-minded person.  Then one day your world is turned upside down when a ‘family’ moves in next door.  It soon becomes obvious that both adults are using drugs.

However, it is not until the five year old daughter comes over to visit that your worries really commence.  You note human teeth marks on her leg, bruises on her body and she tells you that ‘Mummy did it’.  Of course you contact authorities.  Child welfare does nothing and the police visit antagonises the male, who is not the child’s father.  A few days later he is holding the five year old upside down and shaking her violently and promises to do worse if you call authorities again.

What would you do?  Abduct the girl?  Would you risk going to jail for the sake of a five year old girl?

That is exactly what Anna does.  She takes five year old Charlie and leaves town.  Anna and Charlie head for the bush.  They find refuge in a sparsely populated area with little connection to the outside world.  In this environment they are safe.  For a while!

All stories need an end and I am not prepared to reveal how this one ends.

I listened to this story and need to give the narrator a pat on the back on the back.  I have often stated that the narrator can make or break an audio book.  Leith McPherson’s narration of Promise made the book so enjoyable.   Characters were easily identifiable by ‘their’ voices.   A big plus when listening to audio books while driving.

I think

Promise

 Image result for Promise sarah armstrong

is definitely a

read.

Goodreads readers have rated

Promise

an average of 3.91 stars from 137 ratings and 26 reviews

Promise

can be purchased on-line at

FishpondBooktopia, and Amazon

 

Book Review-Beyond-the-Orchard

 

Beyond the Orchard 

by

Anna Romer

 

 

Beyond the Orchard by Anna Romer is set along the Great Ocean Road which, as the names suggests runs along Victoria’s South Coast between Geelong and Port Campbell, although others would have it continue much further for the tourist trade.

Back to Beyond the Orchard.  The only towns mentioned are Apollo Bay, Geelong and Ballarat, an inland gold mining town, now a city.  It is there that reality ends and fictions commences.

In 1993, our heroine, Lucy, in Beyond the Orchard is engaged to an Englishman when she returns home upon her grandfather’s death.  The story line then commences to swap between 1993 and 1930 as Lucy uncovers some secrets of her ancestors and other people who frequented Bitterwood, the ancestral home of the 1930s.

 I enjoyed the story although it was difficult, at times, to follow as an audio book.  Again I re-iterate that the narrator’s voice did not do much to help this book.  She was crisp and clear, however, a mere twenty-four hours after completing Beyond the Orchard I cannot remember one ‘character’ voice.  Therefore, as alluded to above, this made transitions between 1993 and 1930 difficult to follow, especially when driving.

I did enjoy the story (a big plus for my reading) and thought it worth three and a half stars for the story and half a star for the nearby setting.  I think Beyond the Orchard would be a better ‘read’ or if you opt for the audio version avoid driving when listening.

I think Beyond the Orchard

 Image result for Beyond the Orchard

is a

with a half star bonus for the nearby setting


Goodreads readers have rated

Beyond the Orchard

an average of 3.98 stars from 195 ratings and 67 reviews

Beyond the Orchard

can be purchased on-line at

FishpondBooktopia, and Amazon

 

Book Review-Song-of-the-Bellbirds

 

Song of the Bellbirds 

by

Anne McCullagh Rennie

Song of the Bellbirds by Sydney author, Anne McCullagh Rennie, follows the fortunes of a young Australian singer from Queensland, in her quest to become a professional opera singer.

All young Lizzie Foster wants to do is help out on the family farm and sing while doing so. However, life has other plans…for her.

Eventually she is asked to go to Vienna and study with the best of the best. It is in Vienna that she meets her one true love. After several years Lizzie returns to Australia and her home own and vows never to sing again. That is, until…..

Song of the Bellbirds has nearly an all female cast of characters…a change from the thrillers and crime genre novels I usually listen to, or read.

I thoroughly enjoyed Song of the Bellbirds and think it deserves its four star rating.

 

An enjoyable

read.  

Goodreads readers have rated

Song of the Bellbirds 

an average of 3.54 stars from 37 ratings and 4 reviews

Image result for song of the bellbirds

Song of the Bellbirds 

can be purchased on-line at 

Fishpond, Booktopia and Amazon

Read in 2017

Book Review-The-Raging-Quiet

 

The Raging Quiet

by

Sherryl Jordan

The Raging Quiet highlights the prejudices and ignorance of people when they are confronted with those who are different.  Although set in the past the concepts are equally applicable in the 21st century.

A young Marnie is spurned by her friends and relatives because of rumours relating to her morality.  After a short marriage and Marnie is left to fend for herself against the townsfolk’s prejudices in the village to which she moved.

The only friends she finds are the local priest and the mad boy.

Anymore will spoil the plot.

Enjoy a solid

read.  

Goodreads readers have rated

The Raging Quiet

an average of 4.22 stars from 3,474 ratings and 315 reviews

 

Image result for The Raging Quiet

The Raging Quiet

can be purchased on-line at 

Fishpond, and Amazon

NB: Fishpond search shows

‘Sweet Sacrament’ first

followed by ‘Raging Quiet’.

Read in 2010